Constipation is an uncommon condition among individuals. In fact, you have experienced this in your lifetime, depending on your food intake. Same happens with your baby. If your newborn hasn’t pooped for a couple of days, is it a sign of something else?
There are many causes of constipation in infants – both formula-fed or breastfed. If your breastfed baby hasn't pooped, she may not experience constipation. However, constipation is common in breastfed babies when they are given solid foods already, that’s when they reach six months old.
On the other hand, formula fed babies will experience constipation more often than breastfed babies. In fact, cow’s milk may cause constipation in infants and toddlers. Since formula milk has a cow’s milk base, your newborn may suffer from defecating.
You can tell if your baby is constipated if she is straining to poop, cries or is irritable before defecating, has a hard belly, her stools are pellet-like, and she has fewer than three bowel movements in a week. To help you out, here are nine remedies on how to get a newborn to poop.
1. The Bicycle Exercise
When your baby has a hard time passing stools, she may be constipated. One of the most popular ways to solve this problem is through a bicycle exercise. Gently move your baby’s legs in a cycling motion.
This exercise helps move the poo through her system
2. Tummy Time With Thigh Lifts
So, aside from the bicycle exercise, letting your baby have her tummy time with a favorite toy can help relieve constipation. Place one hand under her thigh and close to her knee, then another hand on her ankle.
Lift her leg off the floor, making sure you lift it slowly. This exercise stimulates the muscles in the front of the abdominal area and baby’s hips. It gets the GI system moving, which will help her defecate more quickly
3. Baby Poop Massage
Another way to relieve constipation in babies is tummy massage. Just like the bicycle exercise, rubbing her stomach can help get things moving. To do this, lay your baby on the bed and rub her tummy right along the gastrointestinal tract.
Using a clockwise motion, massage her tummy in bigger circles. However, take note of your baby’s cues if you’re pressing too hard. Crying and being fussy means you need to lessen the pressure on her stomach. Combining this with the bicycle exercise will surely get those poop out in no time
4. Change Formula Milk
Sensitivity to a formula milk ingredient may also cause baby constipation. If formula fed baby not pooping, you can try to switch formula brands, especially those which are organic. It’s a trial and error thing because you can switch brands to find the right type of ingredient that she can tolerate best.
You can try organic and low-lactose milk formulas. Your baby may tolerate these formula dairy products more than regular ones.
5. Warm Bath
Who wouldn’t relax during a warm bath? A warm bath will soothe your baby to help her let go of what she’s holding in. Moreover, you can massage her tummy after a warm bath to allow the poop to loosen and move out of the GI tract.
6. Give Foods Rich In Fiber
This applies to babies who are six months and above only. Never give solid foods to babies younger than this age.
Just like adults, your baby will benefit from foods rich in fiber such as pears, prune, apricots, and plums.
7. Avoid Constipation-Causing Foods
Some foods may cause constipation. Thus, if your baby is already suffering from constipation, do not feed her with these foods – cow’s milk, bananas, carrots, apple sauce, white bread and dairy products
Though bananas, cheese, and rice cereals are baby food staples, they have a binding effect on the stool, making it harder to move and expel.
8. Increase Water Intake
Again, you should only give water to babies who are 6 months and older. An increase in water intake can help prevent and relieve constipation in infants. Proper hydration is important for regular bowel movements
Water and milk – yes, you can breastfeed your baby more if you’re still nursing, are great in keeping your baby hydrated. These are also helpful in keeping her stool soft and easy to dispel. If she’s older than six months, you can also give prune or pear juice to help speed up her colon contractions.
9. Suppositories, Laxatives And Rectal Stimulation
It is important that you consult with your pediatrician before doing any of these. Your doctor should prescribe or recommend these first before you even try of using them. Laxatives could lead to dehydration if used more than the recommended dose. Hence, follow the instructions of your pediatrician before using them.
Rectal stimulation help relieves constipation. Again, your doctor should inform you on how to do this as not to cause damage to your baby’s rectum.
Your newborn, formula-fed or breastfed, may suffer from constipation every now and then. It is important to learn more about the bowel movements of your baby, so you know what’s normal or not.
Once you observe that she has a difficulty passing her stools, try any of these remedies to help relieve her constipation. However, when all else fail, you should bring her to the doctor.